The world-class spine surgeons of the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center contributed significantly to “Restoring Alignment in an Era of Global Change,” this year’s meeting of the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, held this year in Orlando, Florida. Our faculty members played an active part in directing and moving the conversation forward during the conference, at which chief resident Ibrahim Hussain, M.D. was awarded the Charles Kuntz IV Scholar Award.
Dr. Roger Härtl, chief of spinal surgery and director of the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care, co-directed a course in spinal navigation and techniques in minimally invasive surgery and robotics procedural solutions. In addition to moderating a spinal deformity abstract session, Dr. Ali Baaj, co-director of Weill Cornell Medicine Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis program, spoke about his experiences in challenging cases and spinal deformity. Dr. Kai-Ming Fu, co-director of the Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis program, also gave a plenary lecture on minimally invasive deformity and co-directed a course regarding diagnosis and management of adult spinal deformity. Dr. Michael Virk presented two talks, titled Unilateral Facet Dislocation: Tips and Tricks for Reduction and Fixation: Anterior Versus Posterior, and Management of Vertebral Column Metastasis: Overview of Management Principles. He also moderated a session titled Peripheral Nerve, Basic Science Breakout: Abstract Presentations.
Chief neurosurgical resident Ibrahim Hussain, M.D. was awarded the Charles Kuntz IV Scholar Award for the second year in a row—this time for his abstract "Mesenchymal Stem Cell-seeded High-density Collagen Gel For Annular Repair: Six-week Results From In Vivo Sheep Models.” Dr. Hussain worked on the paper with Dr. Roger Härtl and Dr. Lawrence Bonassar, the Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, along with their inter-campus research team.
The prestigious Charles Kuntz IV Scholar Award is given each year to the top 30 neurosurgical residents or fellows for outstanding laboratory or clinical research on spinal disorders. It was founded in 2016 in memory of neurosurgeon Charles Kuntz IV (1964-2015). The first year’s winners included neurosurgery residents Dr. Nelson Moussazadeh and Dr. Brenton Pennicooke of Weill Cornell Medicine; Dr. Hussain was among the winners last year for his work on spinal tumor outcomes, performed with Dr. Ilya Laufer and Dr. Mark Bilsky at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.